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Softball: Patience pays off for North Forsyth in win over Forsyth Central
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North Forsyth's Madelyn Oliver fields a bunt against Lambert on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia

North Forsyth softball coach Jim Cahill spends time in practice teaching his players to wait on pitches. This practice paid off for Madelyn Oliver who, after waiting for her pitch, hit the go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to lead North to a 4-3 win at home over Forsyth Central.

“I fought off a couple early in the count at my first at-bat,” Oliver said. “And then I got a good pitch at my (third) at-bat and just took it.”

Oliver finished 2-for-3 with a double in the first and the aforementioned RBI single in the sixth. Her sixth-inning hit put the Lady Raiders (7-7, 3-3 Region 5-7A) up 3-2 with runners on first and third with one out.

During the next at-bat, pinch-hitter Sarah Lowe hit a grounder towards second base, scoring the runner on third for what turned out to be an important insurance run.

Leading off the seventh-inning for Central (9-5, 3-3 Region 5-7A) was Sadie Waters. The junior, who hit the game-winning three-RBI triple in the first matchup against these two teams, stepped up to the plate and smacked one to straight centerfield for a solo home run. That would be the extent of Central’s rally, however, as North was able to even the season series at one game apiece.

“That two-run lead in softball is huge,” Cahill said. “We went right at (Waters). She’s a good hitter.”

Cahill decided against walking Waters to guard against the possibility of a two-run homer, and after giving up the solo shot, North pitcher Mackenzie Marvin settled down and finish out her complete game performance by forcing three consecutive pop outs.

The win ties North with Central in the region standings. Since starting region play 3-0, Central has now lost three straight to Lambert, South and now North.

“We’re just not playing real well right now,” Central softball coach Kaelin Stevens said. “We are not hitting, so we just got to start hitting the ball, being a little more consistent and having a little bit more drive to win.”

Central pitcher Bailey McCachren had another solid performance with five strikeouts in the loss. Gracie Smith went 2-for-3 at the plate and Lauren Wall had two RBIs.

In addition to Oliver, North had two other players go 2-for-3 at plate. Haley Simpson connected for a pair of singles while Abby Martin had two doubles and an RBI.